February 10, 2006

In her Shoes @ WSC

Title:
In Her Shoes
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Hmm, well what to say about a film I've never heard of before. A predictable chick-flick, two sisters, disastrously are thrust together, etc etc. Cameron Diaz stars as the lazy yet disastrously attractive floozy Maggie, while her sister Rose (Toni Collette) provides a picture of virgoan anality with a career as a lawyer, nice apartment and secret collection of beautiful, impractical, and unworn Jimmy-Choos. Chucked out by her outraged step-mother, Maggie seeks refuge at her sisters house, slowly driving her round the bend with her attention seeking, slovenly behaviour. Things come to a head when Maggie gets Rose's car clamped, and is unceremoniously chucked out. As she packs, Rose's secret partner (a senior colleague) comes to the door, and is faced with a scantily clad Maggie, who is quite happy to step in in her sisters absence. Cue messy break up scene. Boyfriend rapidly exits, stage left, Maggie goes to visit her mothers mother, mysteriously absent after her mothers death at an early age. Rose, by some happy coincidences begins a dog-walking service, which manages to maintain her previous lifestyle. During her stay with the Miami old folks, Maggie learns to care for others, and we slowly realise that she has long suffered from Dyslexia, slowly overcome by an elderly patient with an obsession with Elizabeth Bishop. Anyway, long story short, eventually the whole family get back together again – Rose finds love with an old, slightly peculiar colleague, and eventually the two sisters realise that blood is thicker than … whatever.

Perhaps slightly over long, the film has a certain quality which resists dismissal as yet another chick flick romance. The two sisters performance is genuinely touching, once I got over wondering what precisely they had done to make Diaz's boobs so big! It also avoids the major pitfall of most films of the genre – having a man provide the solution to Rose and Maggie's personal dilemmas. Instead the two sisters have to work out their own problems, before they can set about salvaging Rose's relationships. Maggie's portrayal of a 'slow reader' is again convincing and emotional – not a massive tear-jerker, but a couple of single drops might be expected. Certainly better than quite a lot of things I've seen recently!


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